Here is a full transcript of an interview with Jon Salt, who is the latest winner in Juice Radio’s Fresh Coast Faceoff. To hear full audio of his interview with the station’s music director, D-Money please go to Juice Radio’s youtube account at http://youtube.com/gojuiceradio. In this interview, Jon discussed the mental state of artists, his experiences on the Black College Tour, and a public service announcement to studio rappers. After reading, feel free to comment with your opinions on topics discussed below to continue the conversation!
D-Money: What’s going on? It’s your guy, D-Money, here from Juice Radio with the latest winner in our Fresh Coast Faceoff, Mr. Jon Salt of Itchy Metal Entertainment. Jon just got done defeating Ripynt 114-52, which is so bad that he should probably repent for it, with his single, “Dying to Live.” Jon has established a nice reputation by working with some key industry individuals in his career. So with that, nice to meet you Jon. How are you doing this afternoon?
Jon Salt: I’m doin great. How you doin?
D: Doin great. Growing up you seem to have bounced around a little bit having been born in Belgium of all places, plus have lived in L.A. and then Seattle. How did moving around so much when you were young by such drastic distances effect you and eventually your music?
Jon: I think music reflects life and life reflects music in the rhythms and sounds of everything around you. Don’t forget I also lived in Maui for a really long time. Having my father around influenced me with all types of music and then just meeting different people. The culture in Los Angeles is so different. The culture in Belgium is so different, in Europe alone. The culture here is so different with the talent everywhere, but they look at hip-hop like we all love one thing, but look at it from a different angle. I think that’s what affected my sound and me as a lyricist in that way. Seattle taught me to be a little more technique sound. When I was in Los Angeles they told me sometimes it was ok to dumb it down. I know it sounds like I’m almost like I’m saying something negative, but I’m not. Los Angeles has styles that their technique is pretty amazing and their cadences amazing, but coming up here to Seattle it changed my cadence and the way I did things. I’m still aggressive when I rap, but it just working with and listening to artists like Rockwell Powers and Macklemore and all that you can’t help but adjust.
D-Money: Seattle’s very chill town (laughs) in that it relaxes you. As far as this sophomore release goes “My Beautiful Insanity” was released earlier this year, but it’s a very curious title for an album I think. For those that haven’t heard it what’s it all about and would you really consider yourself as insane?
Jon: I think we’re all insane. I think everybody in the music industry, and I think you can attest to this with you being a music director and being around artists all the time, some of us are insane. First of all, to pursue this dream that it’s not just a scary dream to pursue, but once it becomes a reality it just takes up a lot of your time. Now I’m actually established with music and now I’m actually signed. I’m being shopped to heavier labels. I just see how much time it takes from me and my family, so yeah, insanity would be something I’m right on the verge of touching, but the album name “My Beautiful Insanity,” was just me talking about life, the insanity of life, talking about what I’ve gone through. You can see the difference of who I am as an artist. You’ll be able to see who I am as a person adjusting to become an artist. You see my aggression, wit, charm, and then at the same time the issues that I went through from sleeping in a park to drug use and stuff like that. I won’t get into detail with it, but basically when you listen to the album you’ll hear “My Beautiful Insanity” and to me music is the most beautiful insanity ever created. Yes, I am insane (laughs).
D: The single “Dying to Live,” as ironic as it sounds as you say in the song. It kinda lives on that insanity kind of feel right there. This album though was released on Itchy Metal Entertainment though which is interesting in the fact that it’s a heavy metal label and their rap contacts seem to be all from Washington. How would you describe your cohorts of Mike Drastic, A.K.A., and the new guy, Suede?
Jon: I don’t know much about Suede. The little homework I did see I was interested in the single “What’s Goodington.” I was interested just to see the name. The title I was like what the hell is that? It was catchy and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t exactly my flavor, but I did end up enjoying it. Mike Drastic, you just get pulled into with his voice. He is somebody that I think can be a real player in this game as long as he can get a break in this game and get people to work with him. As long as he continues his craft and stays humble I think he can be amazing. Same with A.K.A. A.K.A. just seems newer to hip-hop and just needs work, but other than that I feel like they can be players in this game. We are complete opposites when it comes to music and I come from a different type of hip-hop. I respect everybody when it comes to hip-hop and when it comes to the music, so I dig them (laughs).
D: I’m curious about this next one. I think I remember seeing you at the Sadie’s Fight video release party for the video that never saw the light, but haven’t really seen you on a bill since. Is this your doing trying to keep low or has the right opportunity just not come up?
Jon: I haven’t been on a bill in Seattle. I was on the Black College Tour. I was in Atlanta, North Carolina A&C, Alabama, all through the South, we stopped up in D.C, and then we came back. I kind of kept it to myself. I know I should play the game of being on Facebook, but the reality of it is I just got so caught up in being on the Capitol Tour and I toured and then and that’s just what I focused on. As far as bills here me, myself, and Wale’s camp we had something going, but it kind of faltered off, so hopefully we can get that back together. I’m planning on something a little big bigger and a little community like and try to reach the community and get as many people involved, Juice Radio would be great to be involved. Just hip-hop heads, people who love hip-hop, go out there and show a community and instead of always talking about all the talent we have, show Seattle to look at all this talent we have. Come out here and look at it. As far as bills, yeah, that is my doing to stay away from it as far as in the Northwest. I’ve been working on my craft. I’m not one of those artists that is in the studio everyday. I laugh at artists like that (laughs). You’re in the studio everyday, not networking, and not talking to the right people. I’m not in the studio everyday. I am an artist developer. I can’t get into detail about that, it would be announced this week through Itchy Metal, but at the same time I am working with other artists. I’m working with other genres of music, so that’s why I’m kind of off of bills in the Northwest. It’s because I’m not in the studio and I’m really busy (laughs).
D: Kind of curious about the Black College Tour. I know a lot of cats out here in the Northwest don’t know what the f*** that is (laughs), but what’s that like and how were you even received in that down there?
Jon: My chief consultant Durell Jackson. We call them consultants now for legalities now because I don’t want to have a manager because they take care of my legal issues too. My chief consultant Durrell Jackson basically just called, I signed with him on a Monday, called me on Wednesday morning and said I need you to fly out here in the next forty eight hours. We will be starting at Tuskegee University and you’ll be on the Black College Tour. That’s why I hooked up with Wale’s people. That’s where I got to work a little bit with Maybach which I don’t dig a lot of their music, but their people are amazing. If you ever get a chance to be around them you will be like how are these fools even famous. How are they famous? They treat you, it’s amazing, but that’s basically what it was. My consultants are amazing from Durrell Jackson to Kevin Peterman, Carlina Elliott, actually super because I have a full consultant team that if you ask them they got me right on it. The single “Dying to Live” kind of got me there.
D: What’s next for you on the plate?
Jon: Right now, I’m about to release an EP for free that’s just called the “Overdose EP.” It’s just something to keep momentum. I’m just kind of going to let it go. These are the tracks that didn’t make “My Beautiful Insanity” for content purposes. I didn’t want Mr. Fasio, my boss, to lose his mind when he heard this and be like we can’t sell this s*** (laughs). You’re pushing too many buttons. So, Mr. Fasio, when you hear this I will be pushing a lot of buttons, so take a lot of pills to relax. You’re going to lose your f***ing mind (laughs), but I love you and you love me that’s why I’m a good guy. I’m releasing that and I’m getting ready to release my first international album. The album that is taking me off my platform to another level, “The Darker Side of Happiness,” and it is just “My Beautiful Insanity” on steroids. I work with so many sounds from electronica beats to techno, the heaviest grime style beats, I work with a lot of UK people, while at the same time coming back and working with Northwest producer DJ Phinisey, who is the best kept secret in Washington and needs to be known by everyone. He’s already busy so I’m trying to make him more busy. So, DJ when your listening to this sorry bro (laughs), but he’s overseeing the whole project and then we have players like Dave Hampton and his people. Dave Hampton has worked with everybody from Prince to Justin Timberlake. He’s overseeing the whole project. That’s what’s on my plate. Also, “The Grey Area” by my artist Free Black, he will be putting out a whole group album. So, “The Grey Area” and I have an artist named Brandy Noelle. She’s from Hawaii originally she’s now here. She’ll be dropping a solo album that we’re working on. Also, I am working on mixtapes. I am going to be on the new “Turf War” series and “David and Goliath” series with everybody from Drake, Eminem, Jeezy, Wale, Jay Electronica, twenty one and all mixtapes where I’m putting a single or two in. I’m getting ready to go on the road with DJ Young C of Coast to Coast and Shadyville and G-Unit Records. Other than that I hope I go to McDonald’s soon because I’m hungry (laughs). I told you I’m busy, but I love cheeseburgers. That’s what it is, but it’s only half of it. There’s a lot more, a lot of projects going some of it I can’t legally discuss yet. That’s what’s coming.
D: When you’re talking about what’s on the plate (laughs) you’re talking about McDonald’s (laughs).
Jon: I told you what was on my plate D. I think you can respect this because I know you’re a busy man and I saw you just at the one Sadie’s Fight thing the way you were being approached and the way people were trying to get at you. I was like this dude is a busy man, so I know you can appreciate it and that’s why I make that joke. Rappers get out of the studio . Yes, record and be good at what you do. You can rap anywhere so there’s no sense in going to the studio and recording something that is garbage (laughs). You can practice anywhere. I’m just saying get out of the studio and network. If you are an established artist get our there and do something. That’s why people are like, oh you’re not in the studio? No, I’m in the studio like three times a week (laughs), I’m not in the studio seven days a week, I got a family, I got s*** to do (laughs).
D: Thank you for bringing that home. You say you’re not on the web that much, but you are on somewhat. Tell them where they can follow you and stay up with what’s next with Jon Salt?
Jon: You can follow me at http://jonsaltmusic.com, Facebook just click in Jon Salt (no h in it), at Itchy Metal Entertainment, every time I do anything Mr. Fasio is putting it up there, twitter at @Jon_Salt. Salt like the seasoning (laughs), and you can find me anywhere that’s not the studio or McDonald’s. I’ll be there. Holla atcha boy (laughs).
D: Thank you for the very entertaining interview Jon and best of luck to ya.
Jon: I appreciate you, thank you. Juice Radio, I appreciate you. Villa City, I love you. Grey Area, I love you. Everybody else just leave me alone, peace (laughs).
Interviews are now available at charge with D-Money in audio only or videotaped with that option plus full transcription on this column more! Please email D-Money with all enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only way to get a free interview is via winning the Fresh Coast Faceoff, as Sean Symphony accomplished most recently. Vote on the current one to decide the next interview at Juice Radio’s like page at http://facebook.com/gojuiceradio. Thank you and feel free to comment below!